Stiffer penalties for gun-wielding criminals

It is already illegal to shoot people. What is proposed in Richmond are “feel-good” laws, not “common-sense” gun control.

However, there is hope: The model used to prevent drunken driving. I can remember when drunken driving was more of a rite of passage than a crime. Now it is a serious crime with serious consequences.

For the drunken driving problem, we did not find fault with cars. We went after irresponsible drivers with a great deal of success that has been copied in many other countries. Those who drive drunk are swiftly and severely punished.

I propose that we use our lessons learned, abandon methods that have been repeatedly proven ineffective, and pursue methods with a proven track record.

Those who use firearms to do violence should be punished with vigor. All too often in our courtrooms, prosecutors will plea bargain away the gun charges to get a guilty plea to another offense. If the criminal is convicted, they often receive a light sentence for the gun charge.

This is where change needs to begin.

Michael Thompson


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